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Samantha Joel, Ph.D.

Samantha Joel, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Social Psychology

Curriculum Vitae

Relationship Decisions Lab

Contact Information

Office: 811b BEHS
Phone: 801-213-3604

Research Interests

I study how people make decisions about their romantic relationships. For example, what sort of factors do people take into consideration when they try to decide whether to pursue a potential date, invest in a new relationship, or break up with a romantic partner? In my research, I draw from the field of judgment and decision making (JDM) to better understand ways in which relationship decisions are similar to other types of decisions, as well as ways in which they might be unique.

Opportunities For Students

I am currently accepting applications for graduate students. I also have research opportunities for undergraduate students. Please contact me at if you are interested in joining the lab!


PhD, University of Toronto (Psychology, 2015)
MA, University of Toronto (Psychology, 2011)
BSc, University of Toronto (Psychology, 2010)

Selected Publications

Joel, S., Eastwick, P. W., & Finkel, E. J. (in press). Is romantic desire predictable? Machine learning applied to initial romantic attraction. Psychological Science.

Joel, S., Spielmann, S. S., & MacDonald, G. (in press). Motivated use of numerical anchors for judgments relevant to the self. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Robinson, J. S., Joel, S., & Plaks, J. E (2015). Empathy for the group versus indifference toward the victim: Effects of anxious and avoidant attachment on moral judgment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 56, 139-152. Download

Day, L. C., Muise, A., Joel, S., & Impett, E. A. (2015). To do it or not to do it? How communally motivated people navigate sexual interdependence dilemmas. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 791-804. Download

Joel, S., Teper, R., & MacDonald, G. (2014). People overestimate their willingness to reject potential romantic partners by overlooking their concern for others. Psychological Science, 25, 2233-2240. Download

Joel, S., MacDonald, G., & Plaks, J. E. (2013). Romantic relationships conceptualized as a judgment and decision-making domain. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 461-465. Download

Joel, S., Gordon, A. M., Impett, E. A., MacDonald, G., & Keltner, D. (2013). The things you do for me: Perceptions of a romantic partner’s investments promote gratitude and commitment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 1333-1345. Download

Last Updated: 7/8/19